Other Swim Groups
by Jim Provenzano
Team Tsunami lived up to their powerful name at Gay Games VI in Sydney. They sent 76 swimmers, plus two squads of 30 water polo players.
Led by head coach Joe Healy, along with assistants Scott Robinson and Geoff Glaser, Tsunami swimmers racked up dozens of medals in each category.
Dozens of countries competed, with a big influx of locals from all parts of Australia and New Zealand. The aquatics-friendly culture offered many talented competitors.
While records were broken, with the meet not happening in the US, applying to have the records recorded back in the States can be a tedious process.
Some records set by gay and lesbian swimmers don't sit in the record books, because people didn't apply for them.
Problems of inaccuracies and problematic officiating that marred Gay Games V were nowhere to be seen. Volunteers were affable and experienced. Tsunami made sure to have all Gay Games VI records properly recorded.
Geoff Glaser did all the extensive paperwork and application process, but they still haven't heard whether they've been accepted by the US.
But as the Games happened in another country, despite being a FINA-recognized event, "It takes time to post it," said Tsunami stalwart Brian Fitzgibbons.
Along with their incredible array of talent, the Sydney Aquatic Center's Olympic pool is notoriously fast, with a number of features that aided aquatic swiftness.
The depth is standard all the way across, offering consistency. A deep pool with a no-wave process makes for less resistance. A gutter-less pool further resists uneven waves, which often inhibits swimmers in the side lanes.
Fitzgibbons explained, "When you swim in outside lanes, you get everybody's wash, and it bounces back into side lanes." In Sydney, the wash, "just flowed right into the deck."
Lane placement also effects a swimmer's time. Every competitor is seeded according to their best times, both upon entering competition, and in preliminaries. Better swimmers get better positions in central lanes.
Coordinating the amateur dance talents of over 50 swimmers was a fun yet demanding task.
With almost a dozen land-locked rehearsals at Eureka Valley Rec. Center's gym, and a few hours at San Francisco State University's pool, Tsunami's spacious combination of dance and swimming numbers employed some Aussie-pleasing tunes by Olivia Newton-John and Kylie Minogue.
Fitzgibbons decided on the "hit them over the head with their own culture," technique. While employed by other swim clubs who used a bit too much Olivia, they didn't have Tsunami's choruses of Speedo-clad hunks diving through a huge cardboard heart into the pool.
"It was good to have a large number of people with things happening all the time," said Fitzgibbons. "We're not the best at water choreography."
The event's theme was "South Pacific." Pacific Islander teams took pride in performing works inspired by their own Maoran, Samoan and other Asian cultures. Paris Aquatique wowed the crowd with loinclothed guys and hula-dancing women, but most other performances, while festive, lacked Tsunami's all-pool-encompassing largess.
The fun finale to the week's aquatic events, once a no-media event, will be a festive part of the Official Games video and DVD. It's just one of many events that make Tsunami as popular out of the pool as in it.
While riots overtook the streets of Oakland, Tsunami's January SuperBowl beer bust at the SF Eagle proved popular for football and swimming fans, and remained less flammable. Raffles and admissions raised over $3,000 to help raise funds for the International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics swim meet August 23-24 at Stanford University in Palo Alto.
Tsunami also gives back in their fundraising, with ten percent of their anticipated $60,000 for IGLA '03 going to the San Francisco GLBT Community Center and Shanti.
March 23rd will be the date of Tsunami's Oscar night 2 at Mecca restaurant on Market Street.
For more info, visit www.sftsunami.org. For info on global GLBT swim events, visit www.igla.org.
Team Tsunami Medalists
(KEY: Gender, Age Group, Length of Event, Stroke Style Name, Age, Time. Relay ages are combined; IM = Individual Medley)
There were three outstanding records broken, including United States Masters Swimming Long Course Relay events:
SF Tsunami Men 120-159 years 4x100m freestyle relay 3:46.03 Scott Robinson, Stephen Martel, Corey Carlisle, Daniel Veatch
SF Tsunami Men 120-159 years 4x200m freestyle relay 8:13.69 Corey Carlisle, Geoffrey Glaser, Scott Robinson, Daniel Veatch
SF Tsunami Men 160-199 years 4x100m freestyle relay 3:52.36 Geoffrey Glaser, Brian Fitzgibbons, Bart McDermott, Todd Oakes
Men 19-24 200 Metre Freestyle Steven Aronowitz, 24 Tsun 2:09.62
Men 35-39 200 Metre Freestyle Daniel Veatch, 37 - 2:01.08G
Men 100-119 400 Metre Freestyle Relay - 3:57.59 Steve Aronowitz, Bjorn Holten, Anthony Critchlow, Mark Harlow
Men 120-159 400 Metre Freestyle Relay - 3:46.03 Scott Robinson, Steve Martel, Corey Carlisle, Dan Veatch
Men 160-199 400 Metre Freestyle Relay - 3:52.36G Geoff Glaser, Brian Fitzgibbons, Bart McDermott, Todd Oakes
Men 35-39 200 Metre IM Daniel Veatch, 37 - 2:16.49G
Men 30-34 100 Metre Freestyle Todd Oakes, 34 - 55.11
Men 100-119 400 Metre Medley Relay - 4:33.05G Steve Aronowitz, Rudy Guadron, Jim Ruggiero, Steve Martel
Men 120-159 400 Metre Medley Relay - 4:09.12G Dan Veatch, Mark Harlow, Bjorn Holten, Todd Oakes
Women 45-49 800 Metre Freestyle Trina Slabiak, 45 - 15:49.70
Women 60-64 800 Metre Freestyle Mary Coffey, 64 - 18:31.79
Men 25-29 800 Metre Freestyle Casey Cheung, 29 - 11:18.54
Men 35-39 800 Metre Freestyle Daniel Veatch, 37 - 8:56.10G
Men 100-119 200 Metre Freestyle Relay - 1:46.35 Casey Cheung, Corey Carlisle, Bjorn Holten, Mark Harlow
Men 120-159 200 Metre Freestyle Relay - 1:43.95 Matt Chappell, Todd Oakes, Steve Martel, Dan Veatch
Men 25-29 200 Metre Butterfly Bjørn Holtan, 27 - 2:17.14
Men 35-39 100 Metre Backstroke Daniel Veatch, 37 - 1:02.08
Men 35-39 200 Metre Backstroke Daniel Veatch, 37 - 2:14.16G
Men 25-29 100 Metre Butterfly Bjørn Holtan, 27 - 1:00.61
Men 50-54 200 Metre Breaststroke Richard Atondo, 52 - 3:06.33
Women 120-159 800 Metre Freestyle Relay - 12:02.29 Sarah Gilliland, Barbara Byrnes, Joanne Desmond, Felicia Ferlin
Men 100-119 800 Metre Freestyle Relay - 8:51.24G Bjørn Holten, Casey Cheung, Steve Martel, Mark Harlow
Men 120-159 800 Metre Freestyle Relay - 8:13.69G Corey Carlisle, Geoff Glaser, Scott Robinson, Dan Veatch
Women 60-64 50 Metre Butterfly Mary Coffey, 64 - 1:04.71
Men 35-39 400 Metre Freestyle Geoffrey Glaser, 38 - 4:21.31G
Men 25-29 50 Metre Butterfly Bjørn Holtan, 27 - 27.92
Men 120-159 200 Metre Medley Relay - 1:58.16G Steve Martel, John Cook, Todd Oakes, Geoff Glaser
Men 35-39 1500 Metre Freestyle Geoffrey Glaser, 38 - 17:36.09G
Men 60-64 1500 Metre Freestyle Richard Fabian, 60 - 26:22.49G
Men 55-59 1500 Metre Freestyle Neil Hart, 57 - 27:28.62
Men 35-39 200 Metre Freestyle Scott Robinson, 37 - 2:03.17
Men 50-54 200 Metre Freestyle David Ahlman, 51 - 2:25.83
Men 30-34 50 Metre Backstroke Corey Carlisle, 31 - 30.00
Men 45-49 50 Metre Backstroke Brian Fitzgibbons, 46 - 33.10
Women 160-199 400 Metre Freestyle Relay - 5:38.65 Barbara Byrnes, Trina Slabiak, Felicia Ferlin, Joanne Desmond
Mixed 160-199 800 Metre Freestyle Relay - 10:38.59 Felicia Ferlin, Joanne Desmond, Larry Fry, Brian Fitzgibbons
Women 35-39 400 Metre IM Felicia Ferlin, 39 - 6:59.80
Men 35-39 100 Metre Freestyle Geoffrey Glaser, 38 - 55.95I
Men 50-54 50 Metre Breaststroke Richard Atondo, 52 - 36.96
Men 35-39 800 Metre Freestyle Geoffrey Glaser, 38 - 9:10.45
Men 160-199 200 Metre Freestyle Relay - 1:43.96 Scott Robinson, Brian Fitzgibbons, Bart McDermott, Geoff Glaser
Men 50-54 100 Metre Breaststroke Richard Atondo, 52 - 1:22.04
Men 60-64 100 Metre Breaststroke Richard Fabian, 60 - 1:45.32
Men 45-49 200 Metre Butterfly Bart McDermott, 46 - 2:41.38
Men 25-29 100 Metre Butterfly Rudy Guadron, 28 - 1:09.03
Men 45-49 100 Metre Butterfly Bart McDermott, 46 - 1:06.14
Men 25-29 200 Metre Breaststroke Rudy Guadron, 28 - 3:01.06
Men 30-34 200 Metre Breaststroke Mark Harlow, 31 - 2:39.93
Mixed 160-199 400 Metre Medley Relay - 5:34.73 Felicia Ferlin, John Cook, Barbara Byrnes, David Ahlman
Women 25-29 400 Metre Freestyle Sara Gilliland, 26 - 5:50.82
Men 25-29 400 Metre Freestyle Bjørn Holtan, 27 - 4:36.47
Men 60-64 400 Metre Freestyle Richard Fabian, 60 - 6:42.10
Men 100-119 200 Metre Medley Relay - 2:06.20 Casey Cheung, Rudy Guadron, Bjorn Holten, Mark Harlow
Men 30-34 50 Metre Freestyle Todd Oakes, 34 - 25.31
Men 35-39 50 Metre Freestyle Geoffrey Glaser, 38 - 25.20
Men 45-49 50 Metre Freestyle Brian Fitzgibbons, 46 - 27.25
Men 19-24 1500 Metre Freestyle Andrew Harper, 24 - 23:55.40
Men 25-29 1500 Metre Freestyle Casey Cheung, 29 - 21:50.33
Men 50-54 50 Metre Backstroke David Ahlman, 51 - 36.52
Men 19-24 200 Metre IM Steven Aronowitz, 24 - 2:30.53
Men 30-34 200 Metre IM James Ruggiero, 30 - 2:30.40
Men 50-54 200 Metre IM Richard Atondo, 52 - 2:47.54
Women 45-49 400 Metre IM Barbara Byrnes, 46 - 7:47.62
Men 25-29 400 Metre IM Casey Cheung, 29 - 6:03.92
Men 30-34 100 Metre Freestyle Corey Carlisle, 31 - 56.88
Men 35-39 100 Metre Freestyle Scott Robinson, 37 - 56.08I
Men 50-54 100 Metre Freestyle David Ahlman, 51 - 1:02.56
Men 30-34 50 Metre Breaststroke Mark Harlow, 31 - 33.07
Women 160-199 400 Metre Medley Relay - 7:24.78 Leslie Adams, Joanne Desmond, Barbara Byrnes, Trina Slabiak
Men 160-199 400 Metre Medley Relay - 4:36.07 Scott Robinson, Matt Chappell, Bart McDermott, Brian Fitzgibbons
Women 45-49 400 Metre Freestyle Trina Slabiak, 45 - 7:09.90
Men 19-24 50 Metre Butterfly Steven Aronowitz, 24 - 31.30
Men 45-49 50 Metre Butterfly Bart McDermott, 46 - 29.68
Men 55-59 800 Metre Freestyle Neil Hart, 57 - 14:28.68
Women 45-49 200 Metre Butterfly Barbara Byrnes, 46 - 3:57.42
Men 30-34 100 Metre Breaststroke Mark Harlow, 31 - 1:12.55
Women 35-39 100 Metre Backstroke Felicia Ferlin, 39 - 1:24.00
Women 45-49 100 Metre Backstroke Trina Slabiak, 45 - 1:49.44
Men 30-34 100 Metre Butterfly Stephen Martel, 32 - 1:02.19
Men 19-24 50 Metre Freestyle Steven Aronowitz, 24 - 26.66
Women 35-39 1500 Metre Freestyle Joanne Desmond, 35 - 25:27.97